DVD Blog-entary: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – The Virgin Viewing

True facts: I was never a part of the Harry Potter phenomenon. First of all, I have a huge bias against anything that explodes, because generally, it’s not a good experience for me. Case example: Avatar. I even avoided Lord of the Rings because, again, no one would shut the hell up about it. Back in 2002, I moved in with my dad to help fix my finances. Little brother was big time in love with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Being as he watched the first films of each non-freaking-stop, I eventually caved and watched The Fellowship. Aside from annoyance at the ending (it should have ended where the book did), I really enjoyed it. And I so do not dig fantasy, as a rule. Now buoyed by little brother being right, I watched the first Harry Potter film. Or tried to. I got bored 40 minutes in and wandered away. Two or three years later, my ex rented Prisoner of Azkaban, and again I tried to watch. The problem this time was that I had no idea what the hell was going on half the time, due to not knowing the canon established in the first two. I tuned out because I was mad. When late 2010 hit, I got an ereader, and also decided to try and read all of the most challenged books in the US (out of spite at censorship, of course). At the behest of two friends and having them on the list, I read the first book, promising to try and stay with it for the first three. With a few misses along the way (do NOT dig Order of the Phoenix; didn’t care for the first book; Deathly Hallows ended way too conveniently for me), I enjoyed the books. My favourite was Goblet of Fire, by the way, with Chamber of Secrets right behind it. Now, the ending of the films is upon us… and here, she arrives at the point: I’ve still never seen an entire film of the series. It strikes me that I should TRY to watch them again, although frankly, I’m afraid that having seen Radcliffe’s grown-up junk via Equus, that Baby!Harry will be a strange sight. I’m in no rush; I’m sure the fans have sold out every showing for the next two weeks for the final one. But I will give them a go and when I do, I’ll be blogging my thoughts as I watch. Will I notice every difference from the books? Unlikely, from one reading. My brother tells me that the first film is one of the worst in his opinion, so my aim is to soldier through the first two at minimum before being allowed to give up. But maybe, being such a total newbie, I’ll see the films in a different light from those who grew up living and breathing Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Stay tuned… and you best believe Imma go all Expecto Patronum if you don’t like what I have to say…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Blog-entary

  • Accio movie! Let’s talk casting: McGonagall is older than I expected, but this isn’t a bad thing. Hagrid is EXACTLY how I saw him. Dumbledore… well, I’ve seen a lot of clips with the second Dumbledore, and I have to say, Dumbledore #2 is the one closer to who I saw. I also pictured Dudley as looking… more evil?
  • Random: I suddenly thought of the epic fail fanfic of all time, My Immortal. Dumbleydore! LOL.
  • Owl-palooza chez Dursley!
  • The look on Daniel’s face when the first two wands trash Olivander’s is priceless. Bwahahaha.
  • HEDWIG!! Okay, I care way more all of a sudden. I’m such a suck for animals.
  • Baby!Ron! All ginger-riffic. Seeing them so young is really jarring, to be honest.
  • Baby!Hermione is a total bitch. I’m just sayin’. I know she is supposed to be an annoying know-it-all, but she’s REALLY annoying out the gate.
  • 40 minutes to just get on the damn boats to Hogwarts. I remember now why I got bored out of my mind… I had no emotional investment and started watching after Hagrid takes Harry away. Shopping and boats. Not quite endearing for a doubter.
  • LOLZ at Baby!Neville. Totally adorable. And Baby!Draco is perfect. Douche-tastic as expected.
  • KITTY! Yup, still animal-obsessed.
  • Sorting Hat time… dum da dum! Baby!Ron is by far my favourite of the kids thus far. The hat is freaking creepy…. I wanna call Chris Hansen on it. It’s so…. clingy to their heads…
  • Ghost special effects? Kinda lame. Typical of Chris Columbus, though… too cutesy. I want my ghosts creepy and mischevious.
  • Snape was also perfectly cast… creepy right down to the serial killer greasy hair.
  • Obvious green screen is obvious during flying lessons.
  • Puppy! Well, sort of a puppy…
  • “She needs to sort out her priorities!” One of the best lines in the whole damn series.
  • All of the feast scenes are serious food porn… Om nomm nomm!
  • Professor McGonagall: hot bitch in charge! Huzzah!
  • Horrible joke about balls in mouth here… er, Snitch…
  • I still really don’t like the way they’ve portrayed the ghosts… and there’s no Peeves. Fail. Although, Mrs. Weasley’s jumpers are as hideous as I would have imagined. *shudder*
  • Also, I expected Lily Potter to be a knock-out, you know? Not a supermodel or plastic pretty, but girl next door “holy hell!” pretty. She just looks like a slim soccer mom. Not how I thought of her at all. It’s really disappointing to me. She’s probably the worst casting so far, in my eyes.
  • Aww! Norbert is so cute! You know, except for the part where he sets people on fire.
  • Is it just me or does Baby!Daniel not play scared well enough? He never really seems sufficiently upset by things like, oh, VOLDEMORT? He seems too steady for a kid having one fuck of a year.
  • Fluffy drool….. UGH!
  • I’m realizing we never saw any fun lessons in Herbology… Hmm. Boo. I always enjoyed Neville having that one talent.
  • The chess game was bad-ass… I’m pretty sure I would have peed myself and turned back.
  • Okay, dude. Voldemort’s little ‘eyes in the back Quirrell’s head’ bit is seriously disturbing.
  • Ah, the house cup…. such a way to make students want to attack each other… What a bad idea for a school of wizards, huh?
  • Hahaha, Baby!Draco’s about to cry. *points and laughs*
  • I love Hagrid. Way more than Dumbledore. Somehow, it seems this means the films have failed, to a degree, since Dumbledore is intended to be beloved, the father Harry never got to be raised by.

Final conclusion: not enough time with the secondary characters. Some weren’t even introduced! Not enough fun with the ghosts of Hogwarts. The movie begins too slowly, only to rush through other parts of the story. Daniel’s green as an actor, but it’s slight and forgivable. Hermione’s TOO annoying for the first half – it’s almost a caricature, it’s so over the top. Baby!Ron is the best of the trio, the end. Next up: Chamber of Secrets. Stay tuned…

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2 thoughts on “DVD Blog-entary: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – The Virgin Viewing

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